Elier Peraza, CFP® leads a team of financial advisors and client service specialists in our wealth management practice. Our services are designed to help preserve and grow individual and family wealth through well-crafted tax efficient investment strategies. This focus is more important than ever as we face uncertainties that affect financial markets and resulting outlooks.


JY: When speaking with a financial advisor, market jitters and stock skids are nothing unusual, and require ongoing review and transparent client conversations. But the effects of domestic protests and a global pandemic lie outside of a typical economic crisis. How do you approach the concerns of clients who are facing this turbulence?
Elier: Our new client on-boarding process educates clients about market risk and volatility, so that we can identify individual levels of risk tolerance and expectations for investment portfolios. For our retired clients, the plan usually involves cash reserves and investments in high quality fixed income instruments. For those who can afford it, we have reduced or suspended their distribution for a period until their portfolio recovers. The current crisis has been particularly hard for clients who were planning to retire now or in the near term. We proactively keep our clients informed through regular check-ins and discussions about portfolios by Zoom meetings and other virtual meeting tools.


JY: Most watershed moments trigger a revision of priorities and force us into introspection. Have your client conversations been more focused on risk tolerance or planning for needs like long-term care or life insurance solutions?
Elier: Both, really. While our risk management conversations typically occur with new clients, our ongoing financial planning process includes some attention to long-term care and life insurance needs. Most recently, we have seen an uptick of questions regarding investment related income guarantees. History shows us that a perfect storm may emerge at any time to challenge even the best, well-designed plans. For example, our retired clients who started a variable annuity with an income benefit rider eight or ten years ago may have enough flexibility today to start an income stream from their annuity, while giving their investment portfolio a break to recover from the downturn. As part of an ongoing planning process, we like to propose emergency plans that include a small percentage of an overall portfolio for variable annuities.


JY: Despite continuing to serve clients during the midst of a global pandemic (and the obvious benefit of being able to conduct daily business in flip-flops!), are there any new practices that you might continue beyond this crazy time? Something that could positively benefit your practice and clients in a post-pandemic, post-physical distancing world?
Elier: Zoom and other virtual meeting tools are here to stay in our industry. Many of our clients are scattered in parts of the east coast and across the west in Colorado, Oregon and Southern California, so we are not new to this meeting technology. We have found it to be client friendly and easy to adopt. Our team has been working remotely for several months, and while the uncertain climate has required us to schedule more meetings per week than usual – our productivity has increased. Although we miss seeing our clients in person, online meetings have emerged as the next best option.


JY: Has this unusual time reminded you of the “why” that you continue to serve clients wealth management needs?
Elier: We have been inundated with expressions of gratitude and appreciation from our clients, which have proven to be especially encouraging for our team. Client conversations and review meetings have been very difficult and challenging, no matter how many times you have been through economic downturns. We do what we do to help provide our clients with peace of mind – and we know that this extends to their families and businesses during the most trying times. Peace of mind is more than numbers and portfolio performance. It involves trust and care for each other like family – so that’s what we do!


We invite you to find out more about Elier Peraza, CFP®. Our wealth management practice team is available to assist with all of your personal financial planning needs.


Securities offered through Avantax Investment Services, Member FINRA, SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Avantax Advisory ServicesSM. Placing business through Avantax Insurance AgencySM and Avantax Insurance ServicesSM. CA #0K42603

These opinions are based on Elier Peraza’s observations and research and are not intended to predict or depict performance of any investment. These views are as of the close of business on August 1, 2020 and are subject to change based on subsequent developments. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. These views should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Variable annuities are subject to market risk. Investment return and principal value will vary so that units, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Also, withdrawal of earnings will be subject to ordinary income tax and may be subject to 10% IRS penalty tax if taken prior to age 59½. The death benefit guarantee is subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company and does not apply to the investment performance or safety of the underlying investment options.  Variable annuities are suitable for long-term investing, particularly retirement savings.